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Perth’s Macrotrition founder on going from being ‘terrible at school’ to starting a business at 23

Jack Parr worked as a personal trainer at just 18-years-old before he launched healthy takeaway Macrotrition at 23.

Jack Parr has been running his own business since he was 23.
This week's Rising Star is Jack Parr who has been running his own business since he was 23. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

“Academic-wise,” says 25-year-old Macrotrition founder, Jack Parr, “I was terrible in school.”

Now, he’s running his own healthy food takeaway in Perth, now with multiple venues.

Jack’s passion for healthy eating and fitness inspired him to start up Macrotrition when he was just 23 years old.

But back in high school, he never expected that he would run his own business.

“I was absolutely horrendous academically,” he admits, “and a lot of people will back that up.

“I didn’t stick in much and I didn’t get many grades.”

Earlier this year, Jack was asked to speak at the prizegiving ceremony for UHI Perth.

The humble business owner never thought he would be up on that stage offering advice to other young people.

“I don’t want people to think I’ve made it,” adds Jack, “because I have nowhere near made it.

“I know 0.1% of what there is to know in business compared to other people, so sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed.”

What is it like starting your own business at just 23?

Macrotrition puts Jack’s expertise in health and nutrition to good use.

At the Perth sit-in café on South Methven street, customers can get their hands on freshly-made, calorie counted healthy meals.

The business has since extended to a new spot in Glasgow on Washington Street.

But it wasn’t always plain sailing for Jack.

“Running a business is very challenging,” he says.

“There have been lots of hurdles that I’ve faced in the last two and a bit years.

“But I do think that’s all character-building. I’m a true believer in saying ‘it is what it is’ and you just take it all in your stride.”

Macrotrition founder Jack.
Jack says running a business isn’t always easy, but it’s about taking everything in your stride. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

With rising energy costs and starting up during the Covid-19 pandemic, Jack says they haven’t had much “luck”, but he is proud of what they have achieved so far.

He says: “I keep having to remind myself that Macrotrition is only two years old, and some businesses don’t [thrive] until five or six years down the line.”

Jack had the confidence to start up Macrotrition thanks to the maturity and experience he gained from working for himself at just 18.

“I started working for myself as a personal trainer,” he says.

“What helped was always making sure I had the information to back up what I was saying.

“I’m a confident sort of guy, I’ll speak to anyone no matter who you are or what you do. So I think people respect that.

“I think that is the advice that I’d give – just dive into things and do it, instead of thinking you’ll ease yourself into it.

“That’s the best thing you can do as an individual.”

Jack’s health food is more than just ‘chicken, rice and broccoli’

Jack is fighting to battle the “epidemic of mental health problems” in Scotland, which he feels can be exacerbated by people’s unhealthy lifestyles.

The food at Macrotrition aims to appeal to everyone, with an exciting brand of health food which tackles the “boring” stereotype.

“There’s a huge misconception of Macrotrition is that it’s just healthy food, it’s bland, it’s just chicken, rice and broccoli,” he says.

“But that does happen a lot with some other meal prep companies, which is why we try to fight that Macrotrition.”

Jack’s health food at Macrotrition is more than “chicken, rice and broccoli”. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

Their menu includes the likes of venison steak, chicken mac and cheese, teriyaki beef strips and more, all macronutrient tracked.

“This is what I can’t stress enough – we need a huge flip in people’s mentality towards healthy eating,” he adds.

“There is such an effect on people’s physical and, more importantly, mental health.

“I think we have to stop tiptoeing around the subject.”

Next steps for Macrotrition

Despite Macrotrition’s growing success, Jack says the business still has a long way to go.

“We’re still quite far away from the goal with where we want to go with Macrotriton,” says Jack.

“The goal for me is to open as many shops as I can.

“And eventually, I would consider franchising the business.

“I want a Macrotrition in every single city that there possibly can be.

“But on my terms. With my rules and my standards.”

You can visit Macrotrition at 37a S Methven St, Perth PH1 5NU.